Malham Moor

Malham Moor

Malham Moor is the name of a limestone covered summit that is situated just south of Malham Moor Road between Bordley and Skirethorns in Wharfedale.

Height (m): 411
Height (ft): 1348
Prominence (m): 30
Classification: Four
Hill No: 16380
Grid Ref: SD953648
OS Map OL2
No. of Visits 2

The name is a curious one as the summit is almost three and a half miles distant from Malham. Threshfield in Wharfedale on the other hand is a mile closer whilst the small community of Skirethorns is even closer still.

Approaching the top of Malham Moor from the west
Approaching the top of Malham Moor from the west

Although the hill doesn’t feel particularly close to Malham, the fine covering of limestone pavement on the summit area is definitely reminiscent of the Malham area. In fact the top Malham Moor features some of the finest limestone pavement in the area and marks a very noticeable change to the gritstone moors further south.

Limestone pavement on Malham Moor
Limestone pavement on Malham Moor

The summit is located to the east of a wall, thus favouring the views towards Wharfedale. The summit is unmarked by a cairn and consists of yet more limestone pavement from where there is a particularly good view up Wharfedale towards Great Whernside. There are also some good all round views of the lesser known limestone heights to the east of Malham including Proctor High Mark and Holgates Kilnsey Moor.

The summit of Malham Moor looking towards Great Whernside
The summit of Malham Moor looking towards Great Whernside

A few features of interest to the south-east of the summit, and easily accessible from the footpath, include Higher Heights Hole and a well preserved limekiln. Also of note are some interesting limestone boulders above Height Laithe. Another limekiln, situated below a lonely hawthorn, can be found on the Bordley side of the summit.

The limekiln near Height Laithe
The limekiln near Height Laithe

I originally visited the summit of Malham Moor back in December 2006 whilst returning to Kilnsey from a walk up Mastiles Lane. On that occasion I made my way up to the highest point from the public right of way passing to the south of the summit. At the time I didn’t even know it was called Malham Moor and indeed labelled my photos of the area as Higher Heights.

The hawthorn above the limekiln on the western side of the summit area
The hawthorn above the limekiln on the western side of the summit area

Little known though it maybe it is definitely worth a visit, especially since the summit can be reached so easily from the Skirethorns to Bordley path. Although it took me just over ten years to go back for a second time I think Malham Moor made an even bigger impression on me the second time around. I doubt I’ll wait so long to go back for my third visit.

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